LETTER: Restore Certainty to the 2020 Census Timeline

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June 1, 2021 


Restore Certainty to the 2020 Census Timeline 

Cosponsor S. 1267, the Bipartisan 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act 

Dear Senator, 

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Census Project, and the 105 undersigned organizations, we write to underscore the importance and urgency of extending statutory  reporting deadlines for apportionment and redistricting data from the 2020 Census. We urge you to  cosponsor the bipartisan 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act (S. 1267), which would extend the  statutory deadlines for delivering apportionment and redistricting data to May 1, 2021 and October  1, 2021, respectively, to reflect the updated 2020 Census timeline compelled by major pandemic-related  delays and to establish certainty for states and localities that must draw new, fair electoral districts. 

The secretary of commerce is required by current law to transmit census numbers for congressional  apportionment to the president by December 31, 2020, and to transmit redistricting data to the states by April 1, 2021. However, the coronavirus pandemic disrupted or delayed every 2020 Census operation,  including critical data processing and quality checks. The Census Bureau completed those important  operations thoroughly last month and delivered the apportionment numbers to the secretary on April 26,  2021. The bureau is now processing the more detailed data required for redistricting and has announced  that it will release high-quality redistricting data by August 16, 2021 and transmit the same data to  designated government officials in a more user-friendly format by September 30, 2021. 

Codifying new deadlines will restore predictability and certainty for states and localities that must draw  new, fair electoral districts — for Congress, state legislatures, city councils, and school boards — for the  next decade. It also will establish certainty for the Census Bureau and the federal courts. 

Since the pandemic upended the census schedule, the bureau has frequently reached out to each state to  understand their redistricting timelines and to provide updates on the progress of data processing. The  Census Bureau needs sufficient time to complete several internal and external expert evaluations of  census data quality before it finalizes and publishes the redistricting numbers. The certainty of new  statutory deadlines will set a realistic, clear timeframe for the Census Bureau to complete vital and  complex data processing, quality checks, and tabulation work thoroughly and carefully, while recognizing the need to minimize disruption to state redistricting timelines to the extent possible. 

We hope you will join the bipartisan group of original sponsors in both chambers working to  ensure the stability of the apportionment and redistricting processes that the U.S. Constitution  envisions by cosponsoring S. 1267. If you can co-sponsor this critical legislation, please contact  Trelaine Ito, Office of Senator Brian Schatz, at Trelaine_Ito@schatz@senate.gov or Amber Ebarb and  Devin O’Brien, Office of Senator Lisa Murkowski, at Amber_Ebarb@indian.senate.gov and  Devin_O’Brien@murkowski.senate.gov. Should you or your staff have any questions, please feel free to contact Corrine Yu, The Leadership Conference senior program director, at yu@civilrights.org, or Mary  Jo Hoeksema, The Census Project co-director, at maryjo@popassoc.org



The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights 

The Census Project  

Advancement Project California 

Advocates for Children of New Jersey 

African American Health Alliance 

African American Ministers In Action 


AltaMed Health Services 

American Association of People with Disabilities 

American Association of University Women (AAUW) 

American Civil Liberties Union 

American Educational Research Association  

American Federation of Teachers 

American Sociological Association 

American Statistical Association 

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) 

Arab American Institute 

Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum 

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) 

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC 

Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) 

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO 

Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) 

Association of Population Centers 

Association of Public Data Users (APDU) 

Augustus F. Hawkins Foundation 

Center for American Progress 

Center for Disability Rights 

Clearinghouse on Women's Issues 

Coalition of Labor Union Women, AFL-CIO 

Coalition on Human Needs 

Common Cause 

Community Change 

Consortium of Social Science Associations 

Crescent City Media Group 

Daughters of Charity 

Dreams United/Sueños Unidos 

Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) 

Equal Justice Society 

Equal Rights Advocates 

Equality California

Fair Count Inc 

Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) 

FairVote Action 

Feminist Majority Foundation 

Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda 

Georgia STAND-UP 

Government Information Watch 

Hispanic Federation 

Housing Action Illinois 

Houston in Action  

Impact Fund 

Insights Association 

Japanese American Citizens League 

Kentucky Nonprofit Network 

Kentucky Youth Advocates 

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement 

LatinoJustice PRLDEF 

League of Conservation Voters 

League of Women Voters of New York State 

League of Women Voters of the United States 

Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention (LA-Aid) MACS 

MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) Matthew Shepard Foundation 

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) NALEO Educational Fund 

National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) National Association for Bilingual Education 

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities National Association of Social Workers 

National CAPACD 

National Community Development Association 

National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) 

National Education Association 

National Employment Law Project 

National Equality Action Team (NEAT) 

National Hispanic Media Coalition 

National Homelessness Law Center 

National Indian Education Association  

National LGBTQ Task force Action Fund 

National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) National Organization for Women 

NC Counts Coalition 

New York Immigration Coalition 


Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson 

People For the American Way 

Poder Latinx 

Population Association of America 

Prison Policy Initiative 

Public Justice Center 

Sikh Coalition  

Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund The Gerontological Society of America 

The Workers Circle 


Union for Reform Judaism 

United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries United Philanthropy Forum 


United Way of New York City 

Urban and Regional Information Systems Association Voto Latino 

Women Creating Change



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